by Karin Rita Gastreich
In a land ravaged by civil war, the Mage King Kedehen initiates a ruthless purge of the magas. Eolyn, last daughter of the magas and sole heiress to their forbidden craft, seeks refuge in the South Woods.
When she meets the mysterious Akmael, heir to the throne of this violent realm, she embarks on a path of hope, seduction, betrayal, and war. Desire draws Eolyn toward Akmael’s dark embrace, but fate binds her to Corey of East Selen, a cunning mage whose ambition challenges the limits of love and loyalty.
Can she trust either man?
Hunted in a realm of powerful wizards and brutal deceptions, Eolyn must find her own path to freedom or she will burn on the pyre.
“Vigorously told deceptions and battle scenes, with a romantic thread.” -Publishers Weekly
A vicious blow knocked the wind from Drostan’s lungs and sent his mount screaming to the ground. The knight landed hard, one leg pinned under his flailing horse. A mind-numbing roar thundered through his head. Heart racing, he shoved back his visor, struggling to regain focus.
Drostan watched, incredulous, as a wild cat ripped through the neck of his mount. Almost half as large as the horse, the savage creature had snow white fur and gray stripes. It lifted its bloody jowls, roared, and set ice blue eyes upon Drostan.
Before the knight could retrieve his sword, the cat sprang. Giant claws scraped at his armor and fangs slashed at his face. Drostan wedged a mailed forearm into the beast’s throat, in a desperate struggle to hold it off. His free hand searched desperately for a weapon, any weapon.
His grip closed around the haft of a discarded axe, which he brought full force against the side of the creature’s head. The impact reverberated through his arm, but the cat did little more than pause in annoyance. The creature’s weight was crushing him. Drool dripped hot onto his face.
Adjusting his grip, he drew the weapon back and struck again, driving the metal blade into the animal’s skull. The creature’s sharp howl of pain sent shivers through the knight. He wrenched the axe away and struck again. The cat stumbled back. Drostan struggled out from under his horse and lunged forward, hitting the beast over and over. Blood sprayed everywhere, until at last the giant feline collapsed into a heap of blackened, sodden fur.
Exhausted, Drostan sank to his knees, oblivious for the moment to the battle that raged around him. As he reached forward to touch the animal, it transformed in front of his eyes, leaving in its place a man, his flesh ripped open and covered with blood.
Interview with the Author:
- How long have you been writing?
I’ve been making up stories ever since I can remember. When I was in high school, I went through a brief period where I wanted to become a professional author. In the end, I decided to pursue a career in the sciences instead. I’ve never regretted that decision, but throughout college, grad school, and beyond, I continued to write stories as a past time and hobby.
2. How long have you been a published author?
I sold my first short story to Zahir in 2008. The story, called “Turning Point”, is about an entomologist who discovers a fairy in the highland forests of Costa Rica. My first published novel was Eolyn, released by Hadley Rille Books in 2011. With this tour, we are celebrating the release of the second edition of Eolyn, now debuting as Book One of The Silver Web Trilogy.
3. What titles do you have available?
Currently, Eolyn is the only title in print. The second book in the series, previously titled High Maga, was taken out of print last December. It is undergoing edits for a second edition, and will be released under a new title, The Sword of Shadows, later this year.
I also have a short story, Creatures of Light, available on Kindle.
4. What made you choose the subject of this book?
I wanted to write a fantasy novel where women – many women, as opposed to the token lady on the men’s team – played complex and important roles. As a woman scientist, I also wanted to write about the challenges women face when breaking into a discipline that historically has been controlled by men. In the context of fantasy, magic is the counterpart of science. Its practitioners wield knowledge and power that sets them apart from other people. Eolyn grows up in a kingdom where magic is forbidden to women. The conflict of the story revolves around her struggle to be able to practice magic without suffering persecution or death.
5. Do you have any new titles coming soon?
Yes, I do! As I mentioned earlier, the second book in this series, The Sword of Shadows, will be released later this year. The Sword of Shadows is a darker novel than Eolyn, more deeply immersed in war. The third book of The Silver Web trilogy, Daughter of Aithne, is finished and scheduled for release in early 2017.
I am also working on a new novel, The Hunting Grounds. This is a contemporary urban fantasy and paranormal romance. I’m hoping to release it this fall, but no guarantees yet on meeting that deadline.
6. What is your favourite genre and why?
History and historical fiction, especially books that feature women in history. Women have systematically been written out of history, and I really admire the effort of historians, such as Alison Weir, and novelists, such as Philippa Gregory, who engage in reconstructing women’s past. Many aspects of Eolyn were inspired by the history books and historical fiction novels that I have read over the years.
7. What, to you, is the most exciting part of the writing process?
I love those moments where I feel the spark of inspiration, but I especially enjoy going back and editing my work. It’s during the edits and rewrites that I feel my stories truly blossom, reaching their full potential and complexity.
8. If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why?
Guy Gavriel Kay. Interestingly enough, I never read any of Kay’s work until well after I started writing fantasy. But one of the early reviews of Eolyn compared my style to his. So I picked up his novel The Lions of Al Rassan. I fell in love with it from page one. It’s true that he and I have a very similar philosophy of story-telling; what Kay has accomplished, I try very hard to achieve. I think I would learn so much from working with him.
It costs nothing to dream, eh?
9. Where can readers find you on the web?
I love to have visitors on line! Please stop by my on-line journal and web site, krgastreich.com, any time. You can also find me on Twitter (@EolynChronicles) or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Eolyn-110814625640244/
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Karin Rita Gastreich writes stories of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she is part of the biology faculty at Avila University. An ecologist by vocation, Karin has wandered forests and wildlands for over twenty years. Her past times include camping, hiking, music, and flamenco dance. In addition to The Silver Web trilogy, Karin has published short stories in World Jumping, Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, and 69 Flavors of Paranoia. She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency.
This book is available FREE on Kindle Unlimited
Purchase link for EOLYN:
Karin will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: